Now that Matheny has his first official managerial victory under his belt, albeit a spring training game, it seems the ideal time to revisit this subject.
Rather return to the previous age-based comparison, this time around I am looking at it from the experiential perspective.
Perhaps because of the relatively recent successes of Tony La Russa and Whitey Herzog, it may seem most of the team's skippers had prior major league managerial experience. It turns out that isn't the case.
Of the 30 managerial stints with the Cardinals over the last century, Matheny is the 22nd to receive his initial MLB chance with St. Louis.
|Number||Seasons||Avg Seasons||Win %||WS titles|
The prior 21 newbies lasted an average of 3.6 seasons, while not surprisingly, the experienced skippers stayed longer on the job, 6.5 years on average. (Note that partial seasons are rounded upward.)
Accordingly, the first-timers' teams won at a .518 clip compared to the .542 win rate for the rebounding managers. None of the four first-time managers since Red Schoendienst managed a career winning record at the helm of the team, however.
Despite that, the new managers have collected the majority of the franchise's 11 World Championships at six.
Now, let's get into the qualifications of these 22 first-time managers. (For this article, name links go to the managers' pages at Baseball-Reference.com.)
|Manager||DOB||Age||MLB coach||MiLB mgr|
|Red Schoendienst HOF||2/2/1923||42||yes||no|
|Frankie Frisch HOF||9/9/1898||34||no||no|
|Billy Southworth HOF||3/9/1893||36||no||yes|
|Rogers Hornsby HOF||4/27/1896||29||no||no|
|Miller Huggins HOF||3/27/1878||35||no||no|
|Roger Bresnahan HOF||6/11/1879||29||no||no|
|Red Schoendienst HOF||14||1965||1990||1999||1041||955||0.522||1|
|Frankie Frisch HOF||6||1933||1938||822||458||354||0.564||1|
|Billy Southworth HOF||7||1929||1929||90||43||45||0.489|
|Rogers Hornsby HOF||2||1925||1926||271||153||116||0.569||1|
|Miller Huggins HOF||5||1913||1917||774||346||415||0.455|
|Roger Bresnahan HOF||4||1909||1912||618||255||352||0.420|
|Eddie "The Brat" Stanky|
In one way though, Matheny stands alone. A huge difference in his case is the almost six-year gap between the conclusion of his playing career and the beginning of his managerial stint. Each of the seven others never took off his uniform between his playing and managing years.
In fact, they often coincided. The past moves reflected the more-common practice of the player-manager in MLB, a rarity in today's game. Further, four of the seven became Hall of Famers at least partially due to success as a player.
In the second article of this series, we will look into the histories of the seven managerial ‘brothers' of Matheny, a group I call "The Matheny Seven."
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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